Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
One moment you are sitting on a train, the next moment you wake up in an unknown world where Earth as you know it has altered drastically. This of course is the world of Kanpani Girls. With the goal of finding your way back, you must learn the way of the world, and before long realize that the real money and power resides in mercenaries. Clearly you don’t have the power to compete against these super powered women, but if you could convince them to work for you as a CEO, you may just stand a chance. With limited resources, and no allies to turn to, every mission will count. So begins you quest in Kapani Girls to survive, and return to the land you once knew.
Since you get to lead a group of mercenaries, the first thing you do is set up a base of operations. Through the story mode you will quickly get to know the world and its dangers. The key to survival is recruiting the right mercenaries to further compliment your roster. Through the story mode you will invite both experienced and novice fighters to your base seeking answers.
In Kanpani Girls your mercenaries are everything. There are some other fluff features to pass the time but in the end, it’s all about recruiting and training the best girls. Your corporation won’t flourish without them. Not long after the start you should have a solid enough number of employees to start experimenting with the roster, and start planning what you might need next. That’s what you journey through the world to collect them like Pokemon. Unfortunately this doesn’t involve fighting them before you catch them in Pokeballs. Instead the game follows the more mundane process of building your reputation to spread word to better mercenaries throughout the land. Before too long you will find your employee roster full, and selection of new recruits becomes a process of analyzing their class, stats, and skills compared to your existing crop.
There are in total eight classes, and each class has their own skill set and style of fighting. The usual fantasy gang is all here from clerics and archers, to magicians, rogues, and warriors, each with preferred fighting styles that determine how best to orient them in your formation. That said, melee classes can fight on the backline, utilizing their unique ranged attacks, but overall you are better off keeping them in their expected roles. It’s common sense to keep your healer protected on the backline healing instead of beating your foes faces with a club on the frontline.
As I progressed through the story, I found utilizing a tank and two melee dps on the front line with nothing but healers in the back was the way to go. Progression was slow but the tactics were sound enough that sneaky skill use by enemies rarely was enough to overrun my double healing tactic. Combat is turn based so unless your characters are getting one shot, your healers almost always have a chance to react and recover damage to keep your team going. This strategy almost seemed a bit cheap, and casualties were a real rarity.
As the name already tells you, Kanpani Girls is a world focused on the ladies. You do however see male characters in the story mode, interestingly enough playing the role of the bad guys. It is definitely a weird feminist twist playing this game, especially since the CEO is male, and he gets thrown into a world surrounded by females that beat other opposing males up for a living. And at the same time it is a typical Japanese RPG as we know it, but unfortunately gameplay is a tad tedious in the long run.
Besides following the story mode for a few hours, there wasn’t anything else that I was really able to do. Base management offers some options, offering you a use for mercenaries not used directly in combat to still serve a purpose. Nothing more than fiddling with numbers for profit over time though sadly. The MMORPG elements felt a bit lackluster since the actual combat is automated, putting the victory on the abilities of your mercenary team and strategy employed. Occasionally when you go into a mission, you get to between forks in the road that will alter the course of the mission. Most of the time you have the choice to take an easy route, or go for a challenge with the hopes of netting additional bonus rewards.
Kanpani Girls is an enjoying game that I would play on a rainy day in the weekend, when all my friends are too busy, and I have absolutely no other games to play at that time. But I wouldn’t really say that this game is something you’d enjoy playing every day. It is nice to go through the story mode, taking on the different challenges, playing around with your mercenaries to find the right group format, but other than that there wasn’t any excitement in doing so. Kanpani Girls is just a game with an interesting story, and you shouldn’t expect more than that.